Just My Imagination

Hi SE Readers. Joan here today. Tomorrow is Halloween, so instead of talking about writing, I decided a seasonal post was in order. This is a true story that happened to me several years ago.

The huge, October full moon appeared on the horizon, visible through the bare branches of the trees. A north wind blew, causing any remaining leaves to fall to the ground where they crunched beneath my feet as I walked through the woods to my brother’s house. It was a perfect night for a ghost story…

I’ve never encountered a ghost. At least, I don’t think I have. (I’m discounting the night I  saw our neighbor after he had died.) However, I come from a long line of superstitious people, so I can’t help but wonder.

Such was the case at age nine when  a cousin and I begged my uncle to tell a ghost story. When the story ended, we convinced ourselves a ghost was hiding in the wall vent.

But it was just our imagination.

A few years later, as a teenager, I had a slumber party at my aunt’s house. The attic bedroom of the turn of the century bungalow provided the perfect backdrop for ghost stories. The fact that we had to pass by a door to the unfinished part of the attic didn’t help matters. Before the night was over, everyone was certain a moaning sound came through the walls.

But again, it was just our imaginations.

Having an older brother who played tricks on his little sister didn’t help matters. One night, he and a friend convinced me they had seen a werewolf close to our house. I was positive I saw one prowling about.

Once more, it was just my imagination.

So when I walked through the woods as an adult that October night, I had long since convinced myself ghosts didn’t exist.  My faithful German Shepherd was with me, so I wasn’t afraid. I looked forward to spending an evening with friends.

Still, some things never change. My brother and his friend began to talk about Sleepy Hollow, strange sightings, and ghostly apparitions.

“A headless horseman has been spotted in this area several times,” our friend said. “I’ve seen him in these woods. He’s most active this time of year.”

“Yeah, right. You’re only saying that because it’s close to Halloween.” I wasn’t about to allow them to scare me. I was still the kid sister, but no longer a child.

But when the time came for me to return home, I was a little nervous. I didn’t expect to encounter a headless horseman, but I didn’t trust those guys not to sneak through the woods in an attempt to scare me.

My dog decided to go home early and left without me. I set out on my own, constantly looking over my shoulder as I walked along the path. After a while, I thought I heard the sound of something in the woods.

Yeah. It’s them. I know they’re sneaking around. I won’t let them scare me.

I walked faster, hoping to reach the edge of the woods. And that’s when I had an encounter…

…with a large tree root sticking out of the ground. I tripped and fell, skinning my hands and knees.

The root was real. The sound was just my imagination.

I’ve been on ghost walks in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Jefferson, Texas. No ghosts.

I attended my husband’s class reunion at an old hotel where a ghost is said to reside. She never made an appearance that night. Maybe she didn’t like classic rock music.

I’ve explored lots of cemeteries (never at night), but I’ve never seen ghosts there.

No, I’ve never encountered a ghost.

But there was a time when a dozen friends gathered around a campfire one night. We heard a mysterious sound. No one could explain it or identify the source, but everyone heard it. Was it just our imagination?

Have you had a ghostly encounter? Allowed your imagination to trick you?  Please share in the comments.

32 thoughts on “Just My Imagination

  1. What a fun account of your childhood and adulthood experiences with ghosts and big brothers. 🙂 In answer to the question, I have seen two unexplainable apparitions (not counting the mist I saw leave my husband’s body when he died.) The first was in our bedroom in Coleman. I awoke and saw a short man dressed in 1940s style clothing with a fedora hat standing and looking out our bedroom window onto our back patio. I lay still as I didn’t want to disturb him. I did not feel any fear. The next morning, when I told my husband, he said I described his grandfather and that he was probably just dropping by to take a look at the progress my husband was making on a picturesque back yard. The other was here in the apartment I currently live in. My girlfriend and I were sitting on the couch visiting when a very visible orb floated through the room. We both saw it with the naked eye. Normally, orbs are only caught on camera. But this one was clear. So, ask me if I believe in ghosts and the answer is a resounding “YES!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Jan. Those are amazing experiences. I had an uncle by marriage who was with his mother when she passed away. She died at home. The instant she died, a photo of her inexplicably fell off the wall.


  2. One morning I was getting ready for work. I turn on the news, and respond to blog comments, with Otto by my side (snoring away.) When I get ready to leave, the furniture behind me had been moved around. It was placed such that I could not have used the bathroom, or gone in the kitchen without moving it, but I’d already done all of that. Fun post today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thankfully, I’ve never seen a ghost. I don’t want to. But reading tales like Yvette’s is so intriguing. I’ve had some unusual things happen (I’m sharing two on my blog come December for my Wednesday Weirdness posts), but none of them involved spirit sightings. And I’ve stayed in two haunted hotels, but if there were ghosts about, they didn’t make themselves known. In both cases I didn’t know the hotels were haunted when I booked them, otherwise I probably would have looked elsewhere. I am such a wuss about that stuff!

    Fun post today, Joan. My brother and his friends routinely used to try to scare me and my friends when we were kids. They often succeeded!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, Joan, I believe I have encountered ghosts on more than one occasion. The most recent was about a year ago when we were coming home from a wedding in Maine. It was late and we decided to find a hotel rather than drive the three hours home. We pulled into the Polar Springs resort complex, where they had a room but it was in their “old, original building.” There were no elevators, but the grand old mansion was a beautiful thing to see. We were on the second floor, and the only other occupants were two or three elderly couples who were attending a classic Studebaker show being held there.
    During the night, I was awoken by small footsteps running up and down the hall outside our door. It had to be a child, but we had seen no evidence of children among the elder patrons. After about twenty minutes, I got up the nerve to peek out the door: nothing. A few minutes later, the same tiny footsteps began running back and forth on the floor above us–directly over our heads! It went on from about two a.m. until three, when suddenly, they stopped. The walls were thin enough that we would have heard an adult voice if it had been a child being chastised.
    The next morning, at the free breakfast buffet, we scanned the crowd. Not a single person under retirement age. We even waited until the end of the scheduled 1 1/2 hour buffet. No children.
    I’m convinced it was a spirit child I heard that night. You can check out the resort’s website here: https://polandspringresort.com/lodging/ The Presidential was the building we stayed in. There are articles on the Internet saying it’s suspected to be haunted.
    I’d love to go back…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, that is interesting! I’ll have to check out that link. Check out my reply below to Charles where I told of our friends who experienced mysterious happenings in their home. And I’ll have to tell you the story of my neighbor some day.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. My father used to work the graveyard shift many years ago, and my mother would have to go to sleep alone. At that time, they had several tiles that were loose in their floor, and when you stepped on them, they would make a noise. For several weeks, when she went to bed, she would hear those tiles moving. She’d get up, check the house for invaders, double check that the alarm was on, and go back to bed only to begin hearing those noises again. She thought she was losing her mind. Finally, she accepted that the spirit of someone who may have once lived in that house was still there, so one night, she spoke out loud and told that spirit that she was no longer afraid and that she welcomed him/her to stay for however long he/she needed to. She never heard the noises at night again.

    When my best friend was a child, her grandfather passed away in front of her eyes (from old age). She was young, maybe six or seven. Her family had been gathered around his bedside when he passed. She remembers seeing an older woman standing by her grandfather’s bedpost. A couple of years later, she was looking through an album with her mother when she saw a picture of the woman that she had seen standing by her grandfather’s bed and asked her mother who the woman was. It turned out to be her great-grandmother who has passed away over twenty years before her grandfather passed away.

    I had my own semi-experience, though I’m not sure if it truly counts as a ghost. I had a difficult time getting pregnant. I tried artificial insemination twice. The first time it didn’t take. After the second bout, before knowing that I was pregnant, I had a dream that my grandfather who had passed away came to me and handed me a beautiful baby boy. I later found out that I was pregnant…with a beautiful baby boy. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • What a precious experience with your grandfather and the baby. The incident with your friend gives me shivers (good shivers). Thanks for sharing them. I did have an experience once when my mom and I saw our neighbor walk into his house one night. However, we learned later he had died. Very strange.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Do we ever truly believe in ghosts, or do we hover on the edge of truth, enjoying the ripples of excitement that run up and down our bodies?
    Even if faced with the possibility, we would have no proof, just a maybe…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great post, Joan. And a funny story. I reckon the ghost in the tree got you, lol. My imagination tricks me all the time, especially after I’ve just read a scary book or seen a scary movie. Those are the times I leave a trail of house lights behind me because I’m once more afraid of the dark! ha ha. One memorable time, I had a nightmare and awoke convinced a poltergeist had just dragged me down the bed, out of the end, and into the wardrobe. It took a while for me to wake up properly and orientate myself. And in the house we live in now, things keep going missing for a while. Sometimes, a few people look for stuff and never find it, until one day it just turns up in plain sight. So, I don’t know, do we have a mischevious ghost? Thanks for a fun read today 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, the mysterious disappearing objects. Intriguing! I believe our imaginations can play tricks on us. And you’re right. that ghost tree got me. It’s still standing and that proverbial root still sticks up from the ground. Needless to say I’m very careful when walking there.

      Liked by 2 people

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